Does grief counseling work?
Most bereavement caregivers accept as a truism that their interventions are helpful. However, an examination of the bereavement intervention literature suggests that the scientific basis for accepting the efficacy of grief counseling may be quite weak. This article summarizes the findings of four recent qualitative and quantitative reviews of the bereavement intervention literature. It then discusses three possible explanations for these surprising findings and concludes with recommendations for both researchers and clinicians in thanatology that could help to focus efforts to answer the questions of when and for whom grief counseling is helpful.